Tuesday, September 30, 2008

So much to blog about

UPDATE! Our friends Mike and Rhonda got their referral this go around go take a look at their blog for some BIG news. Congrats to them and to all the other new parents who received a referral this time.

It has been to long since we have updated the blog. It gets harder and harder to find the time with a toddler running around and being back to work..
We both went back to work on Sept. 2 and we both agree that we are glad to have jobs but it really stinks having to leave Sophia even with our parents. We both so much want to provide the day to day care for her. We have noticed some subtle changes in behavior in the few past weeks. We are attributing this to us returning to work and Sophia having to adjust to new care givers. We were talking this morning and it is really hard some times to remember that Sophia has only been with us for 3 months. She has had so much change in her life in the last 3 months. Her whole life is different then it was 3 months ago. Her routine is different, her food is different, her clothes are different, her caregivers are different. Really it is no wonder she is now reacting to yet one more change in her little life. We have been told by experts that consistency is really what she needs. It will help her to feel safe and secure. It will help her to know that although we are not there with her every moment any more that we will come back and that we are still part of her life. We can not be there to provide her with the daily care anymore but we feel that our parents are the next best thing and that they will provide the consistent care that we provide for her while we are with her. She loves her grandparents and is having a blast getting to know them better each day. We have a whole new respect for working parents and just how hard it is to turn over care of your child to others no matter how close they are. It is just human nature that everyone does things a little differently and no matter how well meaning or intentioned children see the differences and react to them.

This month we celebrated both my mother and father in-law's birthdays. It was my mother in-law's 60th birthday this year and father in-law is 62. Riz's mom reminded him that when she was his age ( Riz just turned 40) Riz and I had just met and started dating. WOW has it really been 20 years since then? Riz, Sophia and I took my mother in-law out for breakfast and then we did a little shopping.We had the whole family over to celebrate my father in-laws birthday. We had a nice time and we look forward to many more birthdays as a family....
Happy Birthday Mom and Dad

We have been to Disney a few times with Sophia. Most recently with our good friend Wendy and her two girls Kate and Claire from Savannah, Ga.. We had a blast and Kate in her oh so sweet way said to me the morning they were leaving for home "Is Mama Sophia's Auntie" I looked at her and said "well yes Kate she kind of is" Kate looked back at me with the biggest smile and said "well then that makes me and Claire like her cousins" I said yes Kate it sure does Kate said " That makes me happy" I said Me too Kate... So sweet....

This past Sunday we had company from out of town visit. Our friends Sharon, Ken and Shu Shu Harp are here this week vacationing at Disney World. It was so nice of them to take time away from Disney fun to come to our home and than take us out to dinner. We always love to see them and Shu Shu is growing so much I can hardly believe she is the same child. We have waited almost 3 years to see our girls together so it was very sweet to finally do it. Getting pictures of a 17 month old and a 3 year old well that is an other whole story but we did capture a few.

Sophia and her friend Shu Shu.

I will smile first, OK now you smile Shu Shu

Me with Aunt Sharon and
Uncle Ken

Come on Shu lets have a tea party

this past weekend we celebrated Sophia's 1 1/2 year birthday. See we missed Sophia's first birthday and decided to celebrate anyway when she turned 1 1/2 (technically she turns 1 1/2 tomorrow). We had a great time and are so glad we had so many friends and family there to celebrate with us. We rented a condo on the beach and had some family and friends join us for a day of swimming (well really more of floating and sitting in the hot tub LOL), pizza and cake eating and gifts. Sophia got some great things and spent the day with very special people in our lives. We want to thank everyone who came to share in that special day with us.....

Let me at that Cake Sophia turns 1 1/2

Grandma and Grandpa meeting my friend Stephanie

Cousin Breanna, Grandma and me

Me and my friend McKenzie and Stephanie in the background

Look I got a tricycle for my Birthday come on daddy push me around

We had to get a picture with our friends and travel buddies Mark, Gigi and Stephanie.

More random cuteness

look at this pretty outfit my aunt Kathy sent to me...

I just love this picture (Thanks Amy for the headband)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Just a few pictures

to tied you over until I can get a post written...


What happens when left in play room alone

Celebrating the Mid Autumn moon Festival at EPCOT

Grandma Nai Nai's

Friday, September 12, 2008

They are home

Last night Sophia, Riz and I went to the Orlando airport to welcome home our friends Sharon and Mary Alice. Sharon, Mary Alice, Sharon's sister Marcia and sister in-law Monica all returned from their trip to China last night. They all looked tired but pretty darn good really. Mary Alice is simply adorable and was dressed in the same outfit that we brought Sophia home in (I cried when I saw Sharon had bough the same outfit.). The whole evening was very sweet.

We met the Hilton's at the arrival gate a little early so we could have drink and visit for a bit. It is always nice to visit with them they are some of our favorite people. Last night we talked about their impending referral (keeping things crossed that they will be in Oct. round of referrals) for McKenzie.

When the time for Sharon's plane was drawing near we made our way over to where they would come down the hall. This is the same place we came home to our family. It was very emotional for us to be living the excitement from the other side this time. We were standing right next to the ropes separating us from the TSA agents. They started talking to us and said they remembered us coming home a few months ago. The women said she remembered having to restrain Riz's father from running down the hall after us when we got within eye shot (lol). She said she loves seeing families come home and really loved being part of it.

My favorite part of the evening other then meeting Mary Alice of course was meeting Sharon's dad. He was exactly what I thought he would be. Very sweet and oh so excited to meet his newest grand daughter. He took pictures all night and when Sharon and Mary Alice started down the hall to all of us he turned to Riz and said this grandchild has my knees weak... It was so sweet...

Welcome Home Sharon and Mary Alice.... Sophia and I are looking forward to our first play date.....

Monday, September 01, 2008


I think that I'll always be a daughter of two countries, two mothers, two cultures... Without both I would feel incomplete. - Jena Cook, age 16

We have been very fortunate to meet wonderful people along our adoption journey. Those relationships are priceless to us for many reasons. The most important reason is Sophia and what those relationships will mean to her as she grows. Riz and I (nor our families) can relate to the challenges that life will give Sophia. We can not understand what it will be like to be raised in a family where you don't look like anyone else. We can not relate to the loss that she has endured or how she will deal with that down the road. What we can do is surround her with friends that can relate to her life experience. Riz and I have been on the same page about this particular issue from day one. We have worked really hard, together (stepping outside our comfort zone sometimes) to surround ourselves with people who not only enrich our lives but who will enrich Sophia's life as she grows. While I was reading a blog that I just love (my friend Kim B) I stumbled across a wonderful story about 3 teenage girls. These three 16 year old girls were adopted in 1992 by American families from Wuhan China. Their mothers and fathers made the effort to stay in touch and to foster friendships between their girls. I wont tell you anymore go Here and watch the slide show...oh and grab some tissues....

I will say this.. We hope that We can provide these kinds of relationships for Sophia. We hope that we can raise Sophia to be as confident, well spoken, self assured as the girls in this slide show.